Colombo Town Guard

Colombo Town Guard was a regiment attached to the Ceylon Defence Force which was the predecessor to the Sri Lanka Army prior to 1949 when the Ceylon Army was formed. It was a volunteer (reserve) regiment was based in Colombo.

Colombo Town Guard
Active1914–1918, 1939–1949
BranchCeylon Defence Force
RoleInfantry, artillery
Part ofBritish Army
EngagementsWorld War I
World War II


The Town Guard regiment was mobilized only on two occasions, these were during World War I and World War II. Primarily operating as a defensive force for Ceylon's then capital Colombo the regiment was made up of residents of Colombo with both British and Ceylonese Officers. Members of the regiment included many personalities who became important figures in Sri Lankan history.

When formed in both 1914 and 1939 the primary task of the regiment was the defence of Colombo from enemy invasion and had the secondary task of protecting the British control over the colony. In 1915 during the Sinhalese-Moor Riots the Town Guard was called to restore public order with authorization to summarily execute anyone they deemed to be a rioter during the 100-day long period of martial law in the colony.[1][2]

Town Guard ArtilleryEdit

This was the artillery element form to support the Colombo town guard formed at the outset of World War I. This absorbed in to the Ceylon Garrison Artillery when it was formed in 1918.

Recent yearsEdit

In 2006 due to the Sri Lankan Civil War the Sri Lankan Government announced a formation of a Home Guard unit made up of residents of Colombo for deployments within the city. This was not a reforming of the town guard as the new unit came under the authority of the Department of Civil Defence (Sri Lanka) unlike the town guard that came under the command of the army. This was the first time a home guard unit was formed within Colombo.

Notable membersEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Tambiah, Stanley Jeyaraja (1992). Buddhism Betrayed?: Religion, Politics, and Violence in Sri Lanka. University of Chicago Press. p. 7. ISBN 0-226-78950-0.
  2. ^ Gunasinghe, Newton (2004). "4: The Open Economy and Its Impact on Ethnic Relations in Sri Lanka". In Winslow, Deborah; Woost, Michael D. (eds.). Economy, Culture, and Civil War in Sri Lanka. Indiana University Press. p. 99. ISBN 0-253-34420-4.

External links and sourcesEdit